Saturday, September 21, 2019 8PM – David Francey ($30):
David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers (Toronto Star).
A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album, Torn Screen Door, came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.
Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.
“David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day.” Shelter Valley Folk Festival
Saturday, November 23, 2019 8PM – Coco Love Alcorn, Amanda Rheaume & Annie Sumi ($25):
Newmarket Folk Society is thrilled to present a triple-shot of talent with these three talented singer-songwriters together in concert!
As a performer, Coco Love Alcorn is always in the moment; joyful and genuine, soulful and compelling. Alcorn sings joyful soul; a combination of her diverse musical influences, including jazz, pop, R&B and folk. Her voice has been hailed by press as extraordinary, beautiful and stunning. Her playful and witty character, love of improvising and and her willingness to engage fearlessly with the audience had made Coco Love Alcorn an established presence on the Canadian music scene over the last 20 years, with 10 albums to her credit along with numerous cross Canada tours, festival appearances, award nominations and notable success in TV and film licensing.
One of Amanda Rheaume’s great gifts as a songwriter is her ability to take the personal and make it universal, drawing upon her own experience to deliver messages with a wide resonance. She digs deep on The Skin I’m In, reflecting upon her Metis heritage and addressing issues of identity and mental health. Her earlier albums met with widespread critical acclaim. 2013’s Keep A Fire earned her a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of The Year as well as a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year, while 2016’s Holding Patterns received a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination. Amanda has long employed her music as a force for good, as shown by three trips to Afghanistan to perform for Canadian military personnel, plus visits to the Alert base in Canada’s far north and the troubled indigenous community of Attawapiskat. She also co-founded Babes4Breasts, an initiative that, through concerts and recording projects, raised money for breast cancer charities across Canada over a 10-year period. This is an artist with a heart as big as her talent.
Dancing on a line between imagination and reality, ethereal-folk artist Annie Sumi’s music invites you into a familiar otherworld. Like an inbound wind, her voice begins with a whisper, gathers strength and purpose, and transforms into an airy howl. Her songs take you to places of quiet wonder, of unspoken love, of tranquil landscape. Over the last three and a half years, the Ontario-based singer-songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums and toured her music across Canada, parts of the U.S. and Europe. With grace and humility, she has charmed audiences at more than 300 shows, from living rooms to major music festivals, and has been asked to open for the likes of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Amelia Curran and Jim Cuddy. In 2018, she was recognized with a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year. Folk-roots magazine, Penguin Eggs, listed Sumi as one of their top music discoveries for 2018, describing her voice as generous and expansive and offering high praise.
Saturday, January 18, 2020 8PM – The Slocan Ramblers ($25):
The Slocan Ramblers (2019 Juno Award Nominees) are Canada’s bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have become a leading light of today’s acoustic music scene. With a reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, The Slocans have been winning over audiences from Merlefest to RockyGrass and everywhere in between. The Slocans are: Frank Evans on banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar and Alastair Whitehead on bass.
On their much-anticipated new album Queen City Jubilee (2019 Juno Award nominee for Traditional Roots Album of the Year), The Slocans showcase their unique blend of bluegrass, old-time and folk with deep songwriting, lightning fast instrumentals and sawdust-thick vocals. With their trademark raucous energy, this new album presents The Slocan Ramblers at the top of their game, writing and playing tunes to keep you up all night. This is roots music without pretension – music intended to make you feel something. Say hello to your new favourite band!
Friday, March 20, 2020 8PM – Runa ($25):
Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new super-groups, RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.
The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and four Independent Music Awards including Best Live Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song.
RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Canadian percussionist, Cheryl Prashker, Caleb Edwards of Nashville on mandolin and vocals, and Jake James of New York on the fiddle.
RUNA recently released their fifth album, RUNA: LIVE, which received lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic. The album has been hailed as “an incredible masterpiece” by Marcene Bronson, The Celtic Crier.
Seeking to preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age, RUNA creates the backbone of its signature roots sound from the musical and geographical diversity of its individually established band members. Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation.
Saturday, April 18, 2020 8PM – Stephen Fearing ($25):
Stephen Fearing has been named as one of the finest songwriters in Canada and has built a national and international audience for his music, doing it old school through countless performances at intimate venues and on the concert stages of festivals and theatres across Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe.
In 1996, he co-founded Blackie and the Rodeo Kings with Colin Linden and Tom Wilson. Originally intended to be a one-off collaboration to record a tribute album of songs written by Canadian folk music legend, Willie P. Bennett, the trio quickly recognized that they had created something worthy of further exploration and both critics and audiences agreed. More than 22 years later, with nine albums and a JUNO award to their credit, the band has become one of the most respected names in North American roots-rock.
Fearing has released ten albums as a solo artist, featuring musical guests including: Bruce Cockburn, Margo Timmons, Rose Cousins, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin, and Sarah McLachlan. When not working behind the microphone, he spends time producing records, including Suzie Vinnicks JUNO Award-nominated album, Happy Here. “I really enjoy collaborating with other artists. It’s a blast and, as a bonus, it gives me a chance to learn and expand my skill set.”
Like the guests on his albums, the many awards and nominations that have come his way over the years speak to the respect he has earned among his peers, presenters, and critics. His abiding love for his craft and ability to delight audiences are further reflected in multiple JUNO and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations and awards and an ever-expanding touring circuit throughout North America, the UK, and Europe. For his album, Every Souls a Sailor, he was awarded the 2017 Worldwide Album of the Year by Blues & Roots Radio and named 2017 Contemporary Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Through a life of many relocations and countless months on the road performing, Fearing has become a gifted storyteller and true musical nomad with the ability to enthrall audiences of all sizes and attitudes. “Getting on stage is the fun part, especially when the adrenaline kicks in”, he says with a broad smile. “People want to escape and be taken on a journey. I build my shows so they do just that.”
Saturday, May 23, 2020 8PM – to be confirmed: Save the date!
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